There's something off about Shailene Woodley's new Elle cover (by no fault of her own)

This image was removed due to legal reasons.
This image was removed due to legal reasons.
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The April cover of Elle magazine, featuring dystopian action star and Hollywood's resident vagabond, Shailene Woodley, has been revealed and something is… amiss.

Truthfully, it's often painful to watch a dyed-in-the-wool tomboy fall into the overly-ambitious hands of a Hollywood stylist or glam squad. They usually attempt a character-altering makeover on a reluctant star — Shailene, for instance — who seems happier in a threadbare sweatshirt and "re-wilding" in a forest. Hence, by no fault of Woodley's, a medley of poor styling, lighting, and production decisions have caught the spitfire looking like a perspiring, ashen version of herself. Photographer Michael Thompson does great work — as seen here — but this cover is definitely off.

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Gone is Woodley's wide, goofy signature smile. It's instead been replaced by a pained expression, half-grimace, half-smirk — as though she was caught mid-expression. The dark shadows created by heavy eye shadow — contrasted with bare lips — makes it appear if the starlet's makeup is actually liquefying under strong lighting. The "young, wild, and free!" pose — hands thrown behind her head — makes it feel like she just didn't know what to do with her arms (#igiveup). Even though she was apparently photographed on a beach, somehow the shot feels like Woodley was actually photographed in a room with all the air sucked out of it.

The good news? Inside the glossy, things are a lot better:

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

And the interview is great; she offers her grandmother's words on self-love and deep hearts. Hey, it's all you can do when a stylist turns on you.

Images via Elle.

Marjon Carlos is a style and culture writer for Fusion who boasts a strong turtleneck game and opinions on the subjects of fashion, gender, race, pop culture, and men's footwear.

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